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How to choose your ring design?
17th Jun 2020 | Posted by Sarah Phillips

How to choose your ring design?

Hey there, choosing an engagement ring design for someone else can feel like a difficult task; but don't worry, from our experience your partner will undoubtedly LOVE the ring that you have chosen for them, and will appreciate all the time and effort that you have put into your choice. So, our first big piece of advice is to take the pressure off yourself and have confidence in your own instincts.

Introduction to engagement ring styles 

There are four main styles of engagement rings: classic solitaire, solitaire with side diamonds, halo/cluster, and trilogy/three-stone. There are many design variations of these four styles, but here we'll focus on the most popular.



Classic solitaires

Single-stone solitaire style engagement rings are an extremely popular choice. It's sleek, classic look is designed to accentuate the diamond.

You can opt for a design where the band is uniformed or one which tapers/narrows slightly towards the diamond, to add even more focus to the stone. Both designs will still allow a wedding ring to sit comfortably against the engagement ring. 

With this style, you'll also have the choice of a four or six claw diamond setting, both of which are extremely popular choices. A setting with four claws shows off more of the diamond but can also make a small round diamond (under 0.50ct) appear slightly square.

A six claw setting keeps the roundness of the diamond. It is also a very safe choice because if a claw is damaged the remaining five claws should still be able to hold the diamond in place, until the ring can quickly be repaired. But ultimately the choice comes down to your personal preference

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Solitaires with side-stones

You may wish to add a little extra sparkle to the solitaire style Engagement ring with a row of petite diamonds set on the shoulders.

A very popular choice is to micro set the shoulder diamonds, which means each shoulder diamond is set with four petite individual claws so you see each full diamond, this combination makes the setting very delicate and sparkly; a real firm favourite. This design comes in a uniformed (diamonds all the same size) or tapered style (diamonds gradually reducing in size). 

An alternative option is channel set shoulders, where the diamonds are securely set into a channel. This design enables you see around 90% of the full diamonds. the setting is smooth as there are no claws which makes this design very comfortable.

Other setting options are pavé, grain or claw set diamond shoulders although these designs aren't quite as popular as the micro and channel setting styles.

Wedding and Eternity rings can be created to match the engagement ring setting style.
it's also important to think about how wide and sparkly the eventual group of rings will appear on the finger. 

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Halo and Clusters 

Add even more sparkle to the design with an extra halo of diamonds around the central diamond and along the shoulders. The halo style works well if the diamonds are Pavé set, which means the diamonds are set into a channel with extra metal on either side for added strength and shared claws show each full diamond and look delicate.

Matching wedding and Eternity rings will sit comfortably along side created in the same pave setting style. 

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Trilogy and Three-stone 

Engagement rings with three-stones are known as a trilogy setting. This style usually features a central round diamond with two proportionally smaller side diamonds. Popular choices for the side diamonds are; round, pear-shaped or tapered baguette

If you opt for a trilogy ring with three round brilliant cut diamonds, you'll see lots of sparkle across the finger as round diamonds are the best at reflecting light.

Pear-shaped diamond shoulders will offer sparkle too, as they are also brilliant cut (sparkly). The combination of the diamond shapes compliments the overall look of the ring design. 

In contrast the tapered baguette diamonds, which are step cut, (not as sparkly but very elegant) emphasises the sparkle of the central round brilliant cut diamond, creating a dazzling and sophisticated three-stone engagement ring design.

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How to choose a particular style?

When choosing the engagement ring, the key is to combine a design style which is aesthetically pleasing yet also highly practical. An engagement ring is a precious piece of fine jewellery which will be worn every day, not just for special occasions. So you must give the design some real thought. 

Think about whether your future fiancee would have concerns with any particular design features, below are some frequently asked questions and answers to give you an idea. If you have any of your own feel free to ask too. You’ll want to make your partner feels comfortable wearing their engagement ring everyday.

Which metal type is the best? Platinum is the strongest and most durable precious metal used to create Engagement rings, it's also the most popular metal choice due to its natural grey colouring which does not discolour, unlike white gold.

Is there anywhere the engagement ring should not be worn? If the ring is to be worn at the gym, gardening, cooking, or pushing a pram, basically anytime it’s worn next to stainless steel or other hard metals which can cause damage it is advisable to take it off if possible during these activities.

Which ring style is the strongest?  A single stone solitaire is the strongest style, this is because the ring is solid platinum rather than delicate diamond set shoulders. It is also recommended to opt for a ring width of at least 2.5mm to provide added strength. 

Are any of the designs too delicate? It's not advisable to opt for a ring design which has a thin band width, we'd recommend the minimum of 2mm wide, especially if the ring has diamond set shoulders. 

Are there any unsafe diamond settings? A tension setting is not recommended. As the diamond is set between two metal bars it can easily become loose, this can cause the diamond to spin or even fall out. A great alternative to this design is a semi/full rub-over setting which is a much safer option.

Which is the best design choice for smaller hands? Diamonds can look huge on smaller hands (finger size I to A) this may be great for your bank balance but try not to go too large else the ring may look a bit fake!

Which is the best design choice for large hands? For larger hands (finger size O to Z) consider opting for diamonds which are at least 0.50ct in size as smaller diamonds may look too petite, perhaps compromise on the quality of the diamond to increase the size of the diamonds. Also, a trilogy ring is a popular choice on larger hands as the diamonds are spread across the finger.


What to do if you can't choose a style? 

If you still feel confused about which design style to choose, or feel that your partner has a distinct style and would much prefer to choose their own ring design for themselves, perhaps opting for a Promise ring (temporary silver engagement ring) would be a better solution.

This option would then allow you to upgrade the promise ring to a diamond and platinum engagement ring created in either the same design, or another from our collection. You can also create an entirely unique engagement ring through our Bespoke Design Service.


Choosing your ring design summary

As we mentioned earlier, choosing a design for someone else can be tricky as there's lots of styles and individual design options to choice from. You want an engagement ring to last a lifetime, so it's important to consider the following factors; strength, durability, delicacy, hand-size, and personal style preferences.

If in doubt we highly recommend you opt for a solitaire engagement ring, it's a classic style and you can always add extra sparkle with a diamond set wedding ring later.

Feel free to contact us about any questions you may have, if you’d like a discrete chat via WhatsApp, email us at, or call us on 0208 068 6650. We’re always happy to help!

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